Asia

Taliban attack UK military convoy in Afghan capital Kabul

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Media captionFootage showed a badly damaged Nato vehicle at the scene of the blast

A convoy of UK military vehicles has been attacked in the Afghan capital Kabul, the UK's Ministry of Defence has said.

The attack, which took place in a residential area near a market on Sunday morning, injured seven people.

There were no UK casualties, the MoD said, adding the convoy had been struck by an improvised explosive device.

The Taliban claimed the attack in retaliation for air strikes in Kunduz which killed civilians and doctors.

However, the group did not mention Medecins Sans Frontieres, whose hospital was hit by US airstrikes in the city eight days ago - 22 people were killed in that incident and dozens injured.

The US has since said it will pay compensation to the victims' families and to survivors.

There have been conflicting reports about the cause of Sunday's explosion. The MoD said it was an IED, while officials in Kabul said it was a suicide bombing.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Nato troops are examining the bomb scene

The MoD said the convoy had been on a "routine road move" as part of the Nato Resolute Support mission in Kabul when it was struck.

The BBC's Shaimaa Khalil, in Kabul, says a military vehicle was immobilised in the attack at about 09:00 local time. Among the injured was a woman and a child.

Our correspondent said it was the first time British troops had been targeted in Kabul since UK combat forces withdrew from Afghanistan last year.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Civilians injured by the bomb were taken to hospital by stretcher

The UK troops in Kabul are among 470 still in Afghanistan.

British combat troops pulled out of the country a year ago after a conflict that lasted 13 years and in which 454 UK troops lost their lives.

Nato's Resolute Support mission, which was launched after its combat mission ended, consists of more than 13,000 troops from 42 countries. It focuses on training and supporting Afghan security forces and institutions.

Deadly attacks

The attack is the latest in a series recently carried out by the Taliban.

It follows the Taliban's assault on the city of Kunduz in September. Its fall was a major embarrassment to the government, which now says it has regained control.

Fighting is also reported to have intensified in the provinces of Badakhshan, Takhar and Baghlan as the Taliban pursue a bolder strategy to strengthen its hold across the north of the country.

Earlier in August, a Taliban suicide bomber attacked a checkpoint near the entrance to the international airport in Kabul, killing five people.

Before that, there were three deadly attacks in the city - on a police academy, a Nato base and an Afghan army base that killed at least 50 people.